Showhome Editor, Joseph Clarke, catches up with Richard Hibbert, National Chair, Kitchen, Bathroom and Bedroom Specialists Association
Could you tell us about the history and heritage of KBSA?
The KBSA is a trade association for independent retail specialists in the sector of fitted kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms. It was established in 1978 to promote the highest standards of professionalism and workmanship, and to provide consumers with an assurance of quality.
Today the association has hundreds of specialist retail members supported by over 100 of the industry’s best-known manufacturers.
What are the benefits of companies being a KBSA member?
KBSA membership allows retailers to demonstrate their professionalism. Customers look for the KBSA mark because they know it’s their guarantee of excellence in design, planning and installation. The KBSA logo tells customers that they are part of a select group of independent retailers and have achieved the in-depth membership criteria.
There are many financial benefits and business services offered that support KBB showrooms. These include consumer protection in the form of a disputes service, optional deposit and investment protection, free professional and legal helpline, and HR services. There are industry specific Terms and Conditions available and optional Trustmark membership.
Other benefits include discounted rates for consumer finance, which provides some of the most attractive deals in the marketplace. This service features a quick online application process, instant credit decisions, guaranteed payment and 100% secure transactions.
A partnership with Dell Technologies provides a range of discounts on selected IT and other benefits for members.
Membership also brings excellent opportunities to network via the annual designer awards and conference. The conference is setting new standards in the industry and becoming the ‘must attend’ event for the latest trends and developments in retailing and the KBB sector.
Why is it important to have a standardised body to ensure quality in the industry?
Like many other home improvement sectors, the KBB sector has had bad publicity in the past from rogue traders. Whilst these are less common now, consumers are looking for trusted partners when investing substantial amounts on home improvements and allowing companies into their homes.
Traditionally the KBB sector has been classified as being within the construction industry and it is important that retailers have an association that can illustrate the differences and focus on promoting and looking after the interests of independent and specialised retailers.
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